WATCH: The school where social dance became cool

Generations of pupils in Scotland have complained about having to learn traditional dances – but not at this school

Henry Hepburn

dancing feet: the Scottish school where social dancing became cool

It's a refrain familiar to parents right across Scotland: "Aw no, we've got social dance today!"

Most pupils in Scotland will have, at some point, been taught traditional dances such as The Gay Gordons, Strip the Willow and The Dashing White Sergeant, often as part of PE lessons.

It's a useful life skill, as anyone who's been whirled off their feet during a boisterous ceilidh at a Scottish wedding would agree.

Many pupils will nevertheless have railed against it – although teachers do insist that, after the initial objections and embarrassment, they often come round to the idea.

At one school, however, compelling evidence has emerged that Scottish country dancing has the potential to hook a new generation.

A clip posted on Twitter by the PE department at Dunblane High School showed a dozen S3 boys (aged 13-14) doing an impromptu – and impressively proficient – Scottish dance outside the school during a break from lessons.

One even appears so keen to take part that, rather than wait, he continues to munch on a sandwich as he jigs to and fro.

The video has gone viral, having been viewed around 200,000 times and liked nearly 7,000 times on Twitter.

It has prompted hundreds of comments on Twitter. One read: "Most wholesome thing I have seen today! Congratulations young men! This is fab!"

Another tweeted: "How cool is that – Scottish country dancing is a great leveller and just about joy."

And one said: "Fabulous! Takes me back a few years! Although when it was our turn we hated it at Xmas time PE practice, you danced with the boys at arm's length. Glad to see it’s changed days and they’re just all having fun."

Graeme Watson, Dunblane High's faculty head of arts, health and wellbeing, told Tes Scotland that everyone thought it was "brilliant" when a colleague, support for learning assistant and food technician Michelle Murray, recorded and shared the video.

"We were delighted to catch the S3 pupils enjoying an impromptu ceilidh during their break time," said Mr Watson.

"We think it really highlights the ethos of our school and the atmosphere we try to foster during social dance lessons."

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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